Monday 16 November 2020

All Cats are on the Autism Spectrum {Book Review}

*This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you visit a link and go on to buy anything. It won't cost you any extra*

When I heard about an update to the classic 'All Cats have Asperger Syndrome' book, and that with the update, the title had been changed to 'All Cats are on the Autism Spectrum', I was keen to take a look.
book cover showing ginger kitten
I'd wager that most parents of autistic children amass at least a small tower of books on their bedside table in the first couple of years after diagnosis. There is quite a lot of literature available now on the topic of autism, and that means it can be quite difficult to know where to start with a 'collection'.

I'd definitely recommend this book. The original was written by Kathy Hoopmann back in 2006 but much has changed in the world of autism since then. Asperger Syndrome as a term was removed from diagnostic manuals in favour of the more general umbrella term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Many have since proposed that Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) would be a better term to use. As language evolves, maybe ASC will be used more often in future - or maybe another different term will end up in the manuals as language evolves even further.
black kitten wrapped up in blanket
This book is not about the language though. The author's aim was to celebrate and develop understanding of the autistic community, and I think the 65 pages in this book are a great way of doing just that. 

There are an equal number of cute cat photos to accompany the descriptions of a variety of traits and strengths which autistic children and adults may show and I think all animal lovers would love them.
back view of ginger kitten
This picture took me right back to when our daughter was first diagnosed. I've since spoken with many parents whose autistic children were all sent to have their hearing checked before receiving an autism diagnosis...
white owl on book cover
A companion book which I'd also recommend for many readers of this blog is titled All Birds Have Anxiety. Pathological Demand Avoidance is characterised by extreme anxiety and a lot of the feelings in this book will be very relatable to many of those with PDA I suspect. 
tawny owl on book page
Lots of these pages jumped out at me and I wanted to share some with you to give you a flavour of the book.
lots of penguins

Fox looking at bird

I love that this book ends on a positive note. It may be impossible for those with PDA to leave the anxiety behind totally, but there are hopefully solutions and ways to manage which get learnt along the way.

Since reviewing these two books it has been brought to my attention that there is a third in the series called All Dogs Have ADHD.
dalmation will ball in mouth on black book front cover

ADHD is a condition in its own right although there are many children and adults who have this diagnosed alongside autism. The book says:
'Children on the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) spectrum can have challenges in three main areas:

1. They may find it hard to keep focused.
2. They may be hyperactive.
3. They may be impulsive.

Of course, anyone can find it hard to focus, or can be hyperactive or impulsive occasionally. The term ADHD is only used when these traits are exhibited so often that lives are disrupted.'

All books are gorgeous hardbacks with glossy pages inside and they would make great coffee table additions (or kitchen breakfast bar in our case!). Available from Amazon via these (affiliate) links :


**We were gifted two books for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are our own**

For more information about PDA, please read the book shown below:
(this is an affiliate link and I may receive a small commission if you visit a link and go on to buy anything. It won't cost you any extra)

Book cover for Understanding pathological demand avoidance syndrome in children, by Phil christie, margaret duncan, zara healy and ruth fidler

(Other PDA books can be found in my 

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page or the summary of our experience in Our PDA Story Week 35. If you are looking for more online reading about Pathological Demand Avoidance, the posts below may help.

What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?

Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance

Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?

The difference between PDA and ODD

Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

Challenging Behaviour and PDA

Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?

Autism with demand avoidance or Pathological Demand Avoidance?

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